Taskforce engages small businesses, aids community members
Pennsylvania –As the COVID-19 epidemic continues to shutter businesses and endanger vulnerable populations, business and civic leaders throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have pooled their expertise to form the COVID-19 Small and Small Diverse Business and Community Taskforce (2SDB&C Taskforce). The 2SDB&C Taskforce was organized to facilitate opportunities for small and small minority-owned businesses to work with state, local and federal government in providing aid to local communities with a focus on the most underrepresented and affected members such as elderly, disabled, economically disadvantaged and homeless Pennsylvanians.
The Taskforce will work with small business that offer a wide range of contract services, including the construction of medical facilities, cleaning and sterilization, environmental testing, security, provision of emergency supplies, food distribution, and housing assistance. In addition to contract work, 2SDB&C Taskforce volunteers will assist businesses with applications for disaster relief loans, recovery planning, and training. By channeling the skills of diverse small businesses into disaster relief efforts, the 2SDB&C Taskforce will position the businesses for a strong recovery in the post-COVID economy, build resilience in Pennsylvania communities, and to create and retain jobs during and after this pandemic.
The 2SDB&C Taskforce includes experienced federal contracting personnel who have worked on multiple federal projects in disaster zones. All members serve on a voluntary basis.
During the next few weeks, the taskforce will begin launching initiatives that will assist people in safely traveling while returning to the workforce once “stay at home” orders are lifted by state and local governments, as well as ensuring that our small businesses get equitable access to contracting opportunities. Stay tuned for more information on our taskforce’s initiatives at: www.2SDBC.org.
SDB&C Taskforce Advisory Board Members:
Kerry L. Kirkland, Deputy Secretary for Diversity, Inclusion & Small Business Opportunities, Pennsylvania Department of General Services. Kerry represents and advises Governor Tom Wolf’s Administration on statewide policies and programs to substantially increase the participation of small and diverse businesses in Pennsylvania’s economy.
Michael A. Brown, CEM President of the 360 Group of Companies. Michael has expertise in building maintenance and operations, construction, engineering. emergency response and federal contracting.
George Burrell, Attorney. George advises clients on building effective relationships with state, local, and federal officials, advocating on public policy and legislative initiatives, and competing for public and private sector procurement opportunities.
Jamie Bracey-Green, Director of STEM Education Outreach & Research. Jamie has experience leading cross functional teams and creating scalable strategies that increase institutional diversity, inclusion and competitiveness in targeted economic markets.
Joshua Pollard, President and CEO of Omicelo. Joshua’s expertise is in finance, equity, debt & credit within
commercial and residential real estate.
Jeff Hornstein, Executive Director, Economy League of Philadelphia. Jeff produces data-driven policy analysis on issues related to Philadelphia’s fiscal health.
Della Clark, President at The Enterprise Center. Della leads The Enterprise Center in developing community real estate projects, directly supporting aspiring entrepreneurs, particularly those of color, and distributing capital to help those entrepreneurs grow their businesses.
Doris Carson Williams, President and CEO, African American Chamber of Commerce Western Pennsylvania. Doris promotes access and opportunities for African- American business owners and professionals.
Joann Bell, Director of Philadelphia Government Office – Pugliese Associates. Joann is an expert in communication, management and public affairs.
Harold T. Epps, Senior Advisor at Bellevue Strategies and Former Director of Commerce at the City of Philadelphia. Harold brings expertise in high-performance business solutions, facilities management and infrastructure support services.
Derek Green, Philadelphia Councilmember. Derek chairs the Committee on Finance and Disabilities and serves as the Vice Chair of the Committees on Aging and Law and Government.
Jennifer Rodriguez, MCP—Advisor. President and CEO – Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Jennifer’s work centers on highlighting the contributions of Latinos while supporting the growth of Hispanic-owned businesses in the region and the advancement of Hispanic professionals.
Michael A. Rashid, is the former President and CEO of the AmeriHealth Caritas Family of companies which grew, under his leadership, to a $6 billion company operating in 16 states. He was appointed by the Secretary of CMS to the National Advisory Council on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health.
SDB&C Taskforce Independent Advisors:
Michael Horsey, CPA—Independent Auditor. Chairman and CEO of Horsey Buckner & Heffler Accountants and Advisors. Michael is experienced in audit, taxation and financial analysis with a focus on serving not-for-profit organizations, state and local government agencies and private clients.
Ray Jones—Independent Auditor. Former Police Captain UMDNJ. Ray offers uniform guard service and safety consulting, specializing in emergency management consulting, disaster preparedness and recovery.